NEW YORK - Ryan Shay died during the U.S. men's Olympic marathon trials Saturday after collapsing about 5 1/2 miles into the race. He was 28.Read the story (Yahoo). It will be all over, in Runner's World, the New York Times, everywhere, so look around. Hopefully, Yahoo will update theirs.
I did not know Ryan, nor ever met him. In fact, I know little about him. The tragedy is no less true. A man died while running. He had, more than most who read this blog, every reason to consider himself fit. Young, in a distance he has not only run before, but has succeeded in -- Shay could not know at mile 5.5, he would be taking his last breaths.
Running is a safe sport, and a great way to remain fit, but, for reasons that will surely be revealed once the doctors look into this, today was Ryan Shay's day.
He was long before the wall, and, given his achievements, perhaps barely winded. He started the race hoping to run well. And why not? This is a premiere event for elite American runners. Ryan Hall won it.
Runner's World will analyze the race, and comment soon on whether our guys going to Beijing have a chance at a medal. And runners across america will talk about during training runs the next few weeks. All medals, though, added together, are not worth one breath of life. They are nice, and Shay probably has more than his fair share of trophies in his short career.
I hope he enjoyed those last few miles. I hope he thought of his wife, Alicia. I hope he made peace with God.